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Applied Business Ethics (GRAE025)

Annotation

The course will deal with the question of who is responsible for the ethical behavior in business. The dominance of US based literature, has suggested the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility as the main doctrine. However, considering the historical, economical and political context – the situation in Europe is fundamentally different. Unlike in the United States, the question of philanthropy plays only a minor role in Europe. On the other hand, the question of social, legal, environmental, and economic responsibility – within the context of a welfare state – dominates daily business life.

This course will be taught within the MSc in Financial Economics – however deals by nature more with philosophical issues. The first lectures will therefore deal with basic theories of Ethics and Capitalism. The second part deals with Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Theory and the Creating Shared Value Theory - which became important issues in the Financial Industry. Last but not least, the course will cover various issues related to ethical issues in finance. In order to add more applied content – the seminars are covering various cases studies which are relevant in the world of finance.

Course Aims and Objectives

The aim of the course is to raise awareness for the participants that corporations have a responsibility towards all stakeholders – not just towards increasing shareholder value. Moreover, it will deal with the question to what extent selfregulation and corporate responsibility can satisfy the idea of a more sustainable economy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to describe the forces which are driving ethical behavior in a European Context
  • To explain the impact of the government and the capitalistic system which drives the role of the corporation in a society
  • To explain the philosophical background of current ethical theories
  • To apply ethical concepts in practical business situations
  • To demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in the analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas in finance and economics
Syllabus
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